1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Chincha Islands

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CHINCHA ISLANDS, three small islands in the Pacific Ocean, about 12 m. from the coast of Peru (to which country they belong), opposite the town of Pisco, and 106 m. distant from Callao, in 13° 38′ S., 76° 28′ W. The largest of the group, known as the North Island or Isla del Norte, is only four-fifths of a mile in length, and about a third in breadth. They are of granitic formation, and rise from the sea in precipitous cliffs, worn into countless caves and hollows, which furnish convenient resting-places for the sea-fowl. Their highest points attain an elevation of 113 ft. The islands have yielded a few remains of the Chincha Indian race. They were formerly noted for vast deposits of guano, and its export was begun by the Peruvian government in 1840. The supply, however, was exhausted in 1874. In 1853–1854 the Chincha Islands were the chief object in a contest known as the Guano War between President Echenique and General Castilla; and in April 1864 they were seized by the Spanish rear-admiral Pinzon in order to bring the Peruvian government to apologize for its treatment of Spanish immigrants.